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New coach pleased with young Devils

Steven Hunter has more than 15 years experience coaching baseball at schools like St. Clair County, Moody, Springville at Clay-Chalkville.

So, what does he think of his short time at Maplesville, a school considerably smaller than those he’s used to?

“I wouldn’t swap this to be at a big school for anything,” said Hunter, Maplesville’s first-year assistant principal and baseball coach. “This is probably some of the hardest working kids I’ve been around. They really want to please you.”

Hunter took the Maplesville job because he wanted to take on an administrator’s responsibilities without giving up coaching duties. Such a job description is rare at larger schools.

So, Hunter became the Red Devils’ third baseball coach in as many years. Hunter said he is impressed with his team despite its youth and the coaching turnover.

There are only four seniors—Daniel Davenport, Justin Howell, Jake Little and Chris Reeves—and only half of that number played last year. There are no juniors on the Maplesville roster.

The core of the team’s pitching staff—Blake Crumpton, Tyler Crumpton, Matt Hamner, Brett Seales and Bobby Smith—is composed of sophomores and a freshman.

Still, Hunter said pitching is central a part his approach to the game.

“What I would like to see our team do is throw a lot of strikes,” he said. “Pitching is the name of the game. We want to pound the strike zone, and then we’ve got to make the routine plays—not really worry about the spectacular plays—but make the plays we should make.”